Ultimate Cigar Care: How to Store, Handle, and Preserve Your Cigars


Cigars are not just a hobby; they are a passion for many, akin to appreciating fine wines or aged whiskies. Proper cigar care is crucial for maintaining the integrity, flavour, and longevity of your cigars, turning every smoking experience into a luxurious affair. This guide aims to educate both new and seasoned cigar enthusiasts on essential cigar care techniques. From choosing the right humidor to troubleshooting common issues, you will learn how to preserve the quality of your cigars and enhance your smoking experience. 

Why Caring for Cigars is Necessary

Preservation of Quality and Flavour

Cigars are crafted with precision and care, and they deserve the same level of attention when it comes to storage. The right conditions help maintain the cigars' inherent moisture, ensuring that the tobacco burns evenly and the flavour profiles are expressed fully. Inappropriate care can lead to dry, harsh, and unpleasant smoking experiences.

Extension of Cigar Life

A well-cared-for cigar can last for years, even decades, without losing its quality. Proper storage in a controlled environment prevents the degradation of tobacco leaves, allowing the cigars to age gracefully and develop deeper, more complex flavours over time.

Enhancement of Smoking Experience

The ritual of smoking a cigar is as much about the experience as it is about taste. A well-preserved cigar provides a smooth, enjoyable smoke. Proper care ensures that each cigar burns correctly, preventing issues such as tunneling, uneven burns, and relighting problems, which can detract from the pleasure of smoking.

Fundamental Aspects of Cigar Care

Cigar preservation is not just about maintaining them; it's about creating an environment where they can age perfectly. Below, we'll explore the critical components of cigar care: humidity control, temperature control, handling and storage, and rotation and monitoring.

Humidity Control

Maintaining the right humidity level is crucial for cigar preservation. The ideal humidity range for cigars is between 65% and 72%. This prevents the tobacco from becoming too dry or too moist, which can ruin the cigars.

  • Types of Humidors: Choosing the right humidor is essential. Options include:
    • Wooden Humidors: Traditional and effective, usually made from Spanish cedar to help regulate humidity and enhance flavour.
    • Acrylic Humidors: More modern, with a tight seal and often more affordable.
    • Travel Humidors: Compact and designed for mobility without sacrificing the integrity of your cigars.
    • Electronic Humidors: High-end options that allow precise control over temperature and humidity.
  • Setting Up and Maintaining a Humidor: To set up a humidor, season it first to ensure it's ready to maintain the correct humidity. Use distilled water or propylene glycol solutions in your humidification devices to avoid mould and bacteria growth.

Temperature Control

Temperature affects how cigars age and should be controlled just as carefully as humidity. The ideal temperature for storing cigars is around 70°F (21°C). Higher temperatures can lead to tobacco beetle infestations, while lower temperatures can dry out cigars.

Handling and Storage

Handling cigars with care is necessary to avoid damaging their delicate wrappers. Always hold cigars by the band to minimise contact with the oils on your fingers, which can affect the flavour.

  • Storage Solutions: If you don't have a humidor, consider temporary solutions like a coolerdor—a cooler modified as a humidor—or a tupperdor, which uses an airtight Tupperware container equipped with a humidification device.

Rotation and Monitoring

Regularly rotating cigars within your humidor ensures they age uniformly. This practice also allows you to check on their condition and the overall humidity and temperature levels.

  • Monitoring Conditions: Use a digital hygrometer to monitor your humidor’s internal conditions. This tool helps ensure that the environment within your humidor stays within the ideal range for cigar preservation.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Despite careful maintenance, issues can arise that threaten the quality of your cigars. Here’s how to tackle some common problems:

Mould Prevention

Mould on cigars is a sign of too much humidity. To prevent mould, ensure your humidor isn't overly humid and has good air circulation. Regular inspections help catch mould before it spreads.

Cigar Beetles

Cigar beetles hatch from eggs already present in the tobacco when temperatures rise above 75°F (24°C). Keeping your humidor cool can prevent infestations. If you notice tiny holes in your cigars, freeze them for 48 hours to kill any larvae, then slowly bring them back to room temperature.

Dealing with Dried Out Cigars

If cigars dry out, they may not be completely lost. Rehumidify them slowly by placing them in a humidor with gradually increasing humidity levels to avoid splitting the wrappers.

Advanced Tips and Tricks

For those looking to go beyond basic care:

  • Seasoning a New Humidor: Before using a new humidor, wipe the interior with a damp cloth and maintain it empty at the desired humidity for about a week to prepare the wood to hold moisture.
  • Choosing the Right Accessories: Invest in a quality hygrometer and humidifier for accurate control. Calibration kits for hygrometers ensure they provide precise readings.


Caring for your cigars properly means more than just preserving them; it enhances every aspect of the smoking experience. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that each cigar you light is as fresh, flavourful, and enjoyable as intended. This commitment to quality not only maximises your enjoyment but also respects the artistry that went into producing each cigar.

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